Thursday, 27 November 2014

Traditions


For a few weeks now I have been collecting little piles of Christmas bits and pieces. Chocolate money, tiny birds for the Christmas tree, little silver stars ..just little gifts that can be seen in most shops at this time of year.
I have developed a tradition of sending a package of these items to my mother in law in Broadstairs and to two friends...one in Yorkshire and the other in Australia.
The gifts are inexpensive, a little silly even , but I would never miss collecting and sending them.....its a silly tradition I get a lot of pleasure from......and I hope it's a tradition that the recipients enjoy just as much.
WHAT PERSONAL TRADITIONS DO YOU FOLLOW AROUND CHRISTMAS?
I'd be interested in hearing them.....

Ps Phyllis is eating well this morning. Her run is safely locked up again

108 comments:

  1. What a lovely tradition ~ I make my Grandmother's rum ball recipe each year ~ and although I know the recipe by heart now, I always make a point of ringing my Mum to get the recipe from her ~ it's a little in joke we have that I never write it down and I have to call and get it from her.

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    1. You have captured EXACTLY the importance of these little traditions..... Bugger the expensive gifts and the cynical commercialism
      Christmas is more importantly about the traditions you isolate.......ringing mum to get a recipie you already know.....
      It says " I care"

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  2. Christmas traditions: The first is on 22nd December, which was my father's birthday. We always have his favourite meal (that he asked for every year) of beef and noodles on his birthday.

    We also bake bread, cookies, etc.... and sneak out to the neighbours and put a bag of treats on their doorhandles for Xmas morning. There has to be one funny gift for the holiday ... like bags of 'snowman poo' (marshmallows)... and a boxed gift for boxing day.

    Oh, and the first one up on Xmas... which is always the kidling... gets to do the dishes for the day.

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    1. I love the gifts on the doorknob thing

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  3. I'm afraid mine mostly involves not answering the phone. I try to avoid 90% of the Crimbo Party invitations I receive. They bore me rigid.

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    1. Well that's pissed on my Christmas chips

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  4. "Lordy, more cheap shite crap in the mail from John Gray of Wales." I am so pleased Phil is ok. Cats really need to be contained. They are wanton killers.

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    1. How VERY dare you......! Cheap shite indeed!

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    2. You can send the cheap ***** to me if you like - I would love it!! I send chocolate coins to lots of people - you're never too old for chocolate coins and Christmas isn't Christmas without them x

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  5. I do mince pies ,christmas cake and puds you see I live in Corsica so my family here think its all very exotic.It makes a change from kid stew ,roast liver sausage and chestnut flour bread!

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    1. Roast liver sausage now I'd like that.........a bit of a taste like a scotch egg

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  6. You've just given me an idea of what to send my Mum - lots of bits and pieces - great idea, thanks x

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  7. I kept the tradition of chocolate coins in the bottom on my sons Christmas stocking until only a year or so ago .... my youngest is 27!!

    (I only stopped because he is always on a health kick thing now.)

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    1. Send him some anyway
      He'll love them

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  8. We always leave the kids shoes behind the front door on New Years Eve. For Father Time to put money in. Old Lancashire custom.

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    1. Coins or notes?

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    2. Coins John or a fiver at the most.

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  9. I always cook red cabbage with red wine and spices and spiced beef on Boxing day. I think your friends must be thrilled to get their parcels of treasure from you. So glad to hear that your little hen is improving, I was sad to see the photo of her wrapped in a tea towel yesterday.

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    1. I adore red cabbage but never had spiced beef......how do you cook it?

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    2. In saucepan cook 1 carrot, 2 onions and 1 celery stalk, (all sliced) in 2floz olive oil until soft. Add 1 bottle red wine, 4floz red wine vinegar, bouquet garni, 12 juniper berries, 12 whole peppercorns - and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the veg are tender. Add 2floz of olive oil and leave to cool. When cooled down put the meat (5lb topside) into a deep bowl (not metal) and pour over marinade so meat is covered completely. Refrigerate and marinate for up to 2 days then roast in the oven! x

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    3. I am so using this recipe!

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    4. Me too!, I have written it down

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  10. Every year before Cristmass I read the blogs from Blogland and become so sad becouse we dont have Cristmas here. but we do get all those small pieces for Hanuka which is not the same at all.

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    1. I thought Hanukkah was a big celebration..... What Hanukkah traditions are there?

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  11. Phyllis should be fine with you to nurse her through such an ordeal!

    I love your Christmas gifts, definitely not silly but very thoughtful, especially for use in OZ where they may not even have pine cones…..and kangas are definitely not squirrels!!!!

    Thanksgiving here today where turkeys are tofu on my plate!
    Mary -

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    1. Tofu?
      How horrid x

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    2. We certainly do have Pine Cones! Lots of Pine Forests here in Aussie Land!

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  12. I love to fill stockings for the family, John. And I purchase a little Santa each year to add to a growing collection. Love your parcel that you put together so lovingly. Those are the BEST gifts. Sending a hug, Deb

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    1. I hope you post a photo of all those santas

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  13. My Christmas tradition is to get horribly, horribly depressed and cry a lot.
    Sorry. But it's the truth.

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    1. Do you eventually get over yourself ?

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  14. It's tradition for us to set up our Christmas decorations the first week in December. I always use Moms stuffing recipe and I make a tourtiere to go along with the turkey. I like your idea of sending the 'littles' to special people. Give Phyllis an extra treat from me..poor girl...I'm so glad she's coming along.

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    1. Had to google a tourtière
      No idea what it could be

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    2. What is it? Sounds weird.

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  15. Wonder news about Phyllis! I always make fudge, party mix, and decorated cookies for the grandkids....also hard Christmas candies and chocolate coins sitting in bowls in the living room. Before the grandkids left for college we always adopted a few children thru a local charity organization to buy age appropriate gifts and clothing for Christmas. Today is Thanksgiving here and the college kids are home and I have been cooking and baking since yesterday for the BIG feed today. At Christmas and Thanksgiving I'm thankful for family.

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    1. Prize to the sweetest tradition goes to you x

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  16. My Christmas tradition is to go to a performance of Handel's Messiah every year. Odd, considering I'm a pagan. But hey, I'm tolerant.

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    1. Chris always listens to carols from kings college on Christmas eve
      I hate it..it depresses me

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  17. I do nowt for Xmas, though I don't begrudge others their little entertainments and fripperies. Is that not generous?

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    1. Not even a sneaky viewing of ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE.

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    2. What IS that film?

      I've never watched it (just as I've never watched that zombie rubbish that has engripped you). I'm rather glad I don't follow the herd (especially any herd of zombies)

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    3. Now you've said it, J.G.! I've NEVER understood the almost universal praise for that film. It grates so much with me that if I ever had to watch it again I'd insist on being in an advanced state of befuddlement first! For a Christmas film my distinctly odd preference is for the oft-derided, and even hated, Leslie Bricusse musical 'Scrooge'. (Okay, okay - shoot me if you wish. I can take it!)

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  18. P and me have Christmas Dinner together. It is the only daytime meal we ear together all year. It is a very special tradition for us.

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    1. Do you have the decorated table and the works?

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    2. Well, we have crackers, a turkey and later P falls asleep.

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  19. Right outside my back gate there are 40 acres of Christmas trees. The first two rows are trees that have grown to 30 feet high. They aren't cut, they're there to block the view of all the other little trees being murdered. I seldom have a tree myself, and usually it's one someone cut and left in the field on their way to finding a more perfect one. If I ever have a grand child, I'll be happy to do all the stuff I did when my son was little. Right now Christmas is just an unwanted (for me) 6-week break between poultry shows. But, like Raybeard, I don't begrudge others who indulge.

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    1. We always have a planted tree....
      I have several growing on the field

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  20. Glad to hear about Phyllis.

    The farmer and I have christmas day on our own and always buy a new jig saw to do in the afternoon.
    Boxing Day all family and friends come and there are usually around ten folk at the table - same sort of food every year - and the farmer always fires the pudding and brings it in to us singing a carol. Love it.

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    1. I love the jigsaw thing........love it

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  21. On Christmas Eve Father Christmas always manages to send new PJ's down the chimney when no-one is around, their arrival signifies bedtime for the children. Our 14 year old gallantly plays along for the sake of his younger 9 year old sister.
    Lisa x

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    1. I'd play along for new pjs!

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  22. I need to invent some new ones, we abandoned all the old in favour of celebrating Solstice and embracing the coming of the light which all sounds rather woo-ey but if you knew us, like, personally you'd know that is very far from the truth. We keep it very very simple and I have a huge aversion to the consumerism around me. Candles, PJs good books, soft movies.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. I agree.

      I am glad there are new traditions or rather reestablishment old ones. Many holidays are a combination with a base in old traditions.

      May each we express thankfulness and celebrate in many ways every day.

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  23. Wonderful tradition. We used to give children's gifts, simple things like jacks and marbles. Those memory makers always were a success.

    Today on Thanksgiving we celebrate the massacre of native Americans by serving over sized birds to inebriated asses that stuff themselves until they can't move. So, Happy Thanksgiving!!! Be glad you aren't having this holiday.

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    1. It supports the idea that you don't have to spend a fortune to have a good time eh?

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  24. It's a tradition that my parents will arrive on Christmas Eve, laden with gifts, food etc. and for my dad moan and say 'She's brought everything but the kitchen sink'.

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    1. Whilst rolling his eyes!

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  25. For the last 30 years I have hung a small cermaic zebra on my xmas tree. I have not the faintest idea why.

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    1. How sweet.......are you posting a photo

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  26. We used to start the holiday season with Black Friday sales, acting like fools. We went into debt to buy ungrateful people gifts and make nice when we would rather not.

    Now, we are going to have our sixth season of buying nothing, pushing no one, and keeping our financial head above water. We do not celebrate... and it feels so calming.

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    1. Do you treat yourself just a little?

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  27. We put a bell on the tree for each cat that we've had, that's now dead. Also serves as a warning when one of the cats is playing with the tree!
    Jane x

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  28. Glad that Phyllis is doing well.
    Traditions? I make and give Christmas cakes to rather a lot of people. And since Christmas here is always HOT I must have fruit salad. A huge bowl (rude people tell me I make it in the bath) of fruit salad. And silly gifts are mandatory.

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    1. Fruit salad in the bath...now there's a new tradition

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  29. After the divorce we made a few new traditions, since there is only three of us. If daughter partner is here or anyone else we add them.
    We spend all day Christmas Eve, cooking Christmas Day dinner. For us it makes a the day fun. Then we all sit down to a nice dinner. No rush no fuss.
    On Christmas morning we get up open our presents one at a time everyone watches and have brunch. Our dinner is all ready just needs to be warmed up. So the day is just nice. We try different fun recipes also.

    cheers, parsnip

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  30. We go for a walk on the beach on Xmas Day and often see people going in for a dip, and not cheating by wearing wet suits!

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  31. My usual personal tradition is to plan all the things I'm going to sew for various gifts and then realize on Dec 23 I haven't got time to do any of them and go buy gift cards. I'm well on my way to doing the same again this year.

    As a family we focus on the meal and being together above all else. All other traditions faded in and out as our family grew and then left home. But trying to see everyone at some point over the Christmas to New Year's week remains.

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    1. I once made all my Christmas pressies one year... All were shite.... But it was the best fun

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  32. I like your traditions very much.
    We always go to the Christingle at our village church on Christmas Eve, although my son will be taking part for the last time this year as he is going up to middle school next September -sigh.
    He's done some star turns though, highlight for me when he was one of the Kings who insisted on passing his gift to his Grandad in the audience and shouting, they said it's gold but I think it's an empty box with shiny paper Grandad !
    Twiggy

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  33. Broad Stairs! My mother is in Sandwich. Do you ever visit? So pleased about Phyllis. X

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    1. We go to Broadstairs on Boxing Day
      Chris' dad lives in sandwich

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  34. No one eats Christmas cake in this house, and getting fed up literally with having to eat it all myself, I started making a gingerbread house instead. My girls love doing this and it gets more ornate every year.

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    1. I'm not a lover of Christmas cake either....give me a proper sherry trifle anyday

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  35. That's not silly at all. As you say, bugger the expensive gifts and cynical commercialism! On Christmas morning, we walk the dog, before collecting Eric, my husband's bachelor friend, who has spent every Christmas with us since we got married (21 years ago) - he used to cylcle the 26 miles, but he's 79 now and we took pity on him a few years ago! On boxing morning, we open his bedroom door and he is 'mugged' by Turbo (dog!)

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    1. I love the fact you have Eric on Xmas day.........a cracking tradition!

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  36. I love going to the Crib Service on Christmas Eve. We usually have our family round just before and just after Christmas - the day itself we just share with each other.

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  37. We start with chocolate coins on 6th December in new socks, although I have had them in slippers and wellies as a kid. We used to get real money as well, only pennies though.

    I give my cousin a bottle of vodka and they give us a bottle of vodka. we swap the same ones backwards and forwards. its an in joke.

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    1. There are a lot of in jokes in traditions I am beginning to realize

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  38. I like to watch It's a Wonderful Life every Christmas Eve.

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    1. I watched it 5 days ago!

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    2. hahahahahahahaha
      I am the only person in the world who despise this movie !
      I think I will write a review this year.

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    3. You're not alone at all, Ang-par. although 'despise' would be too strong a word for me (you may care to scroll up to my comment above), I'm completely flummoxed as to why so many people love it - and so MUCH too. Actually it's showing for the millionth-plus time on TV this very afternoon. I shall NOT be watching (this time - yet again!).

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  39. We go looking at Christmas lights. We know the neighborhoods that decorate all out. Home to mulled cider and saffron buns. Putting out the Christmas ornaments that are approaching 100 years old and playing the Christmas music. Happy Thanksgiving to all in America.

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    1. That's something chris and I do on the way home from the station

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  40. I follow the tradition of pointing out that the tradition really derives from the celebrations of the Winter Solstice - ancient celebrations that have been hijacked and perverted to serve other purposes and ludicrous myths... which is okay with me, so long as the real Reason for The Season, ie the Solstice, is never forgotten. Then I put on my black and white "Bah Humbug" hat, decorate my evergreen Solstice Tree that reminds us that life survives the darkest day, and head out to enjoy the Festivities. I try to persuade my fellow villagers that naked dancing and the insemination of young ladies by elder men around a roaring log fire is all part of it, but the young ladies of these parts seem to quietly slip away at that point.

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    1. Why am I not surprised with this comment?

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    2. Because you know me so well?

      Ah... Sweet.

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    3. Out with anger in with love

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  41. We always went to my grandmother's house on Christmas Eve. We'd have a Christmas dinner and then open gifts. My brother Wayne and I - 15 months apart - always looked to see who had the biggest gift. One Christmas our Granny wrapped a really big box for my brother. Inside was a little box with a pair of socks inside. (We grew up when most gifts were something we needed.)

    I did my best to keep that tradition going in our family, by always opening one gift on Christmas Eve.
    I don't know if any of my brothers ever continued that tradition or not.

    So glad to hear Phyllis is doing better!
    I've seen the candy coins, but not the others.I should visit a dollar store to see what little things might be there. Dimes stores are so hard to find now.

    I love to watch Wonderful Life and the original Miracle on 34th Street, too. ♥

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    1. Grandparents always " made" Christmas special didn't they?

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  42. Those are some really cute little presents.

    Last year, I was able to throw together a traditional Christmas Eve seafood dinner while on the job... against the odds, I must say.

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    1. Now tell me
      What IS a tradition SEAFOOD dinner?

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  43. We have a Pot Luck Christmas lunch at a different friends place each year. I always make a trifle to take along.

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    1. Naturally......is there any other?

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  44. when the kids were young I let them open one present on Christmas eve - but it was rigged to be new pyjamas or a Christmas themed story book; then off to bed !
    I could then stuff their stockings & enjoy a glass of port.

    Tradition long gone as kids 18 & 21 ! miss it x

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  45. I have my grandma's pastry cutters hanging from my kitchen shelf, each Christmas they get a shiny tartan ribbon attached to them, together with any family pictures of those no longer with us in person, but most definitely in spirit.
    I had pumpkin pie for breakfast this morning, and a glass of egg nog, Thanksgiving Day leftovers :)
    ~Jo

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    1. Does egg nog have sherry in it , like my mothers?

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    2. My dear sweet Jo, I had pecan pie for breakfast this morning.

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  46. What? No one plays Dirty Santa? I thought everyone did.

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  47. We always have ham (home-baked with a spiced glaze), eggs & chips for Christmas eve dinner. If we're at my parents' house, Dad gets up at about 5 on Christmas morning to light the logburner and get the range stoked up, and then goes back to bed for a couple of hours while the house warms up so that we can be toasty-warm while drinking cold Bucks Fizz with breakfast.

    Oh, and presents are wrapped whilst watching the festive favourite 'Die Hard' :-)

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    1. Happy christmas motherfucker!

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